- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

The Grim Trainer

“Just brushed my elbow up against the baserunner, Ray. I think I’ll be OK.”
“Head down the tunnel, Lucas.”
“You’re the head trainer, you must know best.”

“My wrist and the guy’s bat made contact, Ray. No biggie.”
“Head down the tunnel, Travis.”
“Gotta do what the trainer says, I guess.”

“Something with my knee, Ray. Feels a little off, but I can play if Terry needs me.”
“Head down the tunnel, Wilmer.”
“Can’t argue with good advice.”

“Ooh, the hammy’s got a little shock or cramp or something. Chilly night, huh Ray? Lemme just get loose and I’ll be good to go.”
“Head down the tunnel, Yoenis.”
“You’ve got our best interests at heart, so, yes, I shall head down the tunnel as you strongly suggest.”

***

“Hey Seth. Hey Steven.”
“Hey Lucas.”
“Hey Travis. Wilmer. Yo.”
“Hey fellas.”
“Oh, hey David. I didn’t know you guys were all still down here.”
“Yeah, Ray sent us down the tunnel.”
“I don’t like the tunnel.”
“Travis, you always say that.”
“And I never like it.”
“I dunno. I think it’s kind of homey.”
“Steven, you would say that.”

“All right gentlemen. Who’s first?”
“First? First for what?”
“I needed an octet. I only count seven of you. Where did Mister Lagares go?”
“Juan’s taking grounders at short.”
“And Mister Syndergaard? His blisters and nails were so close to bringing him down the tunnel.”
“He’s pitching. Hanging in there, too, despite how much we kind of suck right now.”
“Seven shall do then. Seven souls has a nice ring to it.”
“Speaking of rings, I’m still hoping to get a ring. You’re gonna help me get back on the field so I can win one, right, Ray?”
“Shush, Mister Wright. Where’s my equipment?”
“You mean like your medical tape? It’s right there on the shelf, Ray.”
“Calm down, Mister Flores, you shall get yours out soon enough.”
“Get my what out?”

“Gentlemen, the sooner the questions cease, the sooner I can begin the procedures.”
“Hey, anybody got a score?”
“Your teammates are losing and shall lose, six to four [1]. But all they are losing is a baseball game, Mister d’Arnaud. You gentlemen, on the other hand, shall be bereft of your souls by night’s end.”
“Say what, Ray?”
“Did you pull a hamstring in your ear, Mister Cespedes? Ah, there’s my scythe. Let me just sterilize it with a little rubbing alcohol…so do we have a batting order yet or what?”
“HUH?”

“Mister Duda, you’re awfully vocal suddenly. Is that your way of saying you want to be the first of my seven soulectomies? I didn’t know if you boys wanted to go by salary or tenure or I could just flip the seven-sided coin I carry in my cloak.”
“This is creepy.”
“Mister Lugo, you’re still fairly new here. You should really calm down.”
“Yeah, Seth, I find this relaxing.”
“Steven, man, you’re weird.”

“Mister Wright, you are the one they call Captain. You tell me how this proceeds.”
“I’m selfless, Ray, so I might as well be the first to go soulless.”
“That would be fine, Mister Wright, but you were just moved to the sixty-day DL, so time is not of the essence. You can just stand over in the corner and resume ‘baseball activities.’”
“Like work on my swing?”
“Sure, work on that swing. Sixty days will be up before you know it. Mister Cespedes, how about you?”

No hablo ingles, Ray.”
Gato got your tongue, eh? No worries. It’s not your tongue your trainer is after. Mister Matz, you seem too eager to be here, so your soul might jump out of your body and that’s no challenge for my ambitious scythe. Mister Lugo, I’d like your confusion to wear off before having you on my table. It’s less messy that way. Mister Flores?”
“Hey, wasn’t there a TV in here last time? I think Friends is on.”
“This is ‘The one without the shortstop’s soul,’ and you’re guest-starring.”
“I don’t really play shortstop that much anymore. You’d think I’d get a chance between Jose and Asdrubal slumping.”

“SILENCE! THIS IMPUDENCE IS UNNERVING! MY SCYTHE IS SHAKING! I MUST HAVE SOULS! FRESH MET SOULS FOR MY COLLECTION!”
“Hey, Ray, what’s that hanging on the wall?”
“The soul of Kelvim Escobar, my finest work [2]. Enough questions! I’ll just start with the catcher as I usually do. Get up on the table, Mister d’Arnaud.”
“Sure, Ray…ow! I think I just strained my soul again!”
“Mister d’Arnaud, your lack of health can’t even stay healthy.”
“I’ll do it, Ray.”
“Mister Duda, is that you?”
“Uh-huh.”
“Why so willing, Mister Duda?”
“Grandy said it would make a good video.”
“THERE IS NO VIDEO IN MY TRAINING ROOM! ALL OF YOU, GET OUT OF MY CHAMBER! GO SIT ON THE DISABLED LIST OR BE ‘DAY-TO-DAY’ LIKE COMMON INJURED PLAYERS!”
“See ya later, Ray.”
“Yes, I will see you all later. Sooner or later, every Met soul shall be mine.”